What is a Q-Switched laser treatment?
It is a beam of energy at a specific wavelength (1064nm) which is applied to the skin and is absorbed by coloured pigments such as freckles, age spots, etc. in the skin. The power settings of the laser can be set at different levels and frequencies to accommodate your specific condition and expectations.
What is it used for, and how does it work?
The Q-Switched Laser is an extremely versatile machine and can be used to target different concerns – Pigmentation, acne marks, pimples and acne, skin brightening, skin rejuvenation, tattoo removal.
- Pigmentation – the laser energy is absorbed by the pigments (usually brown, or grey in colour). These pigmentation break off into smaller fragments and are naturally cleared away by the body and skin.
- Acne marks – acne marks are caused by inflammation (the redness and pain) from pimples. The inflammation causes the skin to produce pigments. These pigments are cause of acne marks, which can be effectively removed with the laser.
- Fairer skin – the colour of our skin is also determined by the amount of skin pigments. Darker skin people or people who go sun tanning often have more skin pigments. The laser, at the correct setting, helps lighten the skin tone and makes it fairer and brighter.
- Skin rejuvenation – the laser uses its energy to remove dirt, dead skin cells, oil and superficial facial hair. Take this as a quick, effective and multi-purposed medical facial!
- Pimples and acne – the laser energy can also kill P-acne, which is the bacteria that cause pimples and acne. At the same time, the laser energy also shrinks the oil glands in the skin and helps with oil control. Pimples and acne also tend to be less inflamed after laser treatments and this reduces the amount of acne marks after a breakout.
- Tattoo removal – tattoo inks are foreign pigments introduced into the body. Like natural skin pigmentations, the laser energy breaks down the tattoo ink and removes the tattoo.
What should I expect when going through laser skin rejuvenation treatments?
- Nothing is 100%, but you can expect 70-90% clearance or lightening of your pigmentation
- Very high success for clearance of acne marks
- Prevention and treating of pimples and acne
- Less outbreaks in future
- Better oil control
- Fairer and brighter skin
- Complete clearance of tattoos (depending on ink colors)
Is it painful?
The laser energy feels like many tiny hot dots on your skin. The process is very tolerable.
Is there downtime?
The best part of the Q-switched laser is that it is effective with no downtime!
A mild pinkish flush might be present for about 15mins after the laser. You can put on make-up immediately after a laser treatment and head straight back to work.
What about other lasers that are faster and cheaper?
The Q-Switched laser is now probably the most common laser procedure performed in Singapore.
Many no-frills clinics have started offering short and quick laser procedures. These places are also using the Q-Switched lasers. The differences between a no-frills laser treatment and the usual Q-switched laser treatment are:
- No-frill treatments are all standardised for everyone and energy settings are not tailored to your specific needs and expectations.
- No-frill treatments are much more regular (sometimes even daily) compared to the usual Q-switched laser treatments due to its shorter duration per treatment.
What are the advantages of a usual Q-Switched laser treatment compared to no-frills lasers?
Results: Expect a tailored program and laser setting for each individual for more effective clearance of pigmentation, pimples or marks with the usual Q-Switched laser treatment.
Safety: Everything should be done in moderation. The risk of side-effects from no-frills laser treatments are greatly increased due the increased number of sessions you would have to go in order to see similar results. These side-effects include hypopigmentation (white patches on the skin) and hyperpigmentation (darker pigments due to over-stimulation of the skin).
Time saving: Usual Q-Switched laser treatments last for about 12-15mins and is done once every 3-4 weeks. This saves time compared to no-frills laser treatments which only last for 1-2mins each and you would be advised to do these treatments up to 3-7 times a week.
Cost-effective: The cost of a usual Q-switched laser treatment done in a clinic averages between $250 – $300. No-frills laser treatments might seem cheaper (as low as $30/treatment) due to a lower cost per treatment, but is in fact more expensive in total. The shorter duration (1-2mins/treatment) and increased number of treatments (30-50 treatments) required for a no-frills laser treatment will amount to higher cost for a similar result.
Can I still do Q-Switched Laser while on oral Isotretinoin?
Yes you can, as the Q-Switched isn’t an ablative laser.
What else should I do when I go for laser skin rejuvenation treatments?
Avoid sun tanning for the next 7-10 days. Also apply an appropriate sunscreen.